Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage & Broccoli Rabe (Everyday Italian)

Honestly I think the best thing about Giada's recipes is knowing I'll have enough left overs for an unbelievable lunch. Sure beats my usual turkey sandwich! What a delicious dinner this was. The longest part of the prep was cleaning & cutting the broccoli rabe. Yum!

4 main-course servings
2 bunches of broccoli rabe, stalks trimmed & quartered crosswise
12oz dried orecchiette pasta or other small shaped pasta such as farfalle or penne
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spicy pork sausage, casings removed (we used hot chicken sausage instead)
3 garlic cloves, minced (as usual we cut back on garlic and only used 2)
pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Strain the broccoli rabe, reserving all the cooking liquid. Set the broccoli rabe aside. Cook the orecchiette in the same pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until the sausage is brown and juices form, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli rabe and toss to coat. Add the pasta and enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Stir the parmesan cheese, salt to taste and pepper into the pasta mixture. Transfer to pasta bowls and seve.

Mashed Potatoes with Prosciutto & Parmesan Cheese (Bon Appetit calendar)

We had this as a side dish with our Easter dinner. I love mashed potatoes with bacon but I think this will be a new favorite! Also on the plate for Easter- pork tenderloin with a parsley/shallot sauce & collard greens. It was a great "our first Easter" meal on special plates our friend gave us as a wedding gift!

6-8 Servings
3 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 1/2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
3/4 cup (or more) whole milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz), divided

we cut the recipe in 1/2 since it was just for the 2 of us & didn't use the rosemary
Cook potatoes and garlic cloves in large pot of boiling salted water until potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; return potatoes and garlic to same pot.
Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add prosciutto and rosemary; saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add prosciutto mixture and 3/4 cup milk to potatoes and garlic. Mash well, adding more milk by tablespoonfuls if potatoes are dry. Mix in 3/4 cup cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Stir over low heat until heated through, adding more milk by tablespoonfuls if desired).
Transfer potatoes to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and serve!


WC Recipe Exchange! Grilled Chicken Fajitas


Our super-cool indoor grill.

This recipe was our first attempt at making fajitas. The recipe itself was very good- the issues we had were with our cooking equipment. We don't have an outdoor grill (boo on our apartment building) and we also don't have a cast-iron grill pan (working on that). What we do have is a Delonghi indoor grill so that's what we used! It did a great job grilling the chicken but wasn't as effective grilling the veggies. If we made this recipe again without the grill pan we would probably stir-fry the veggies instead.

The marinade for the chicken was really delicious and next time we'll use a red and green pepper (only used green this time). We were really happy with how everything turned out despite our grilling issues. We can only imagine how delicious this would be with a real grill!!!!

Thanks for sharing mystery exchanger!

And on to the recipe........
This recipe represents the California Region. Much of the nation's produce comes from this state year round. While cuisine here is highly fusion, one of the main tenants of California cuisine is fresh ingredients. This recipe is a Mexican classic done is a fresh California style. The flavor is best when prepared on a grill, but still tastes great done indoors.

Not everyone likes the veggies, and some are allergic, so serve them seperately and allow each person to add what they like.

Grilled Chicken Fajitas
Adapted from a foodnetwork.com recipe.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced into rounds about 1/4 inch thick
2 cups button mushrooms
1-2 bell peppers, any color
Tortillas of choice

Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet or rolling pin. Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock baggie. In a blender or food processor combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and pour over chicken. Close bag and massage marinade over chicken. Place bag in a bowl, just in case the bag leaks, and let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes on the counter but not more than overnight fridge. Before grilling, let chicken sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow for more even cooking.

While chicken is marinading, prep the vegetables. The onions can be sliced and grilled as whole rounds, or cut into half circles and pan sauteed to desired doneness. The mushrooms can be skewered and grilled then cut in half, or sliced and pan sauteed. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove ribs and stem; either grill then slice, or slice then pan sauteed.

Heat a cast iron grill pan or an outdoor grill. Grill the chicken on each side for 4-5 minutes, or until done to 165F. Let rest for a few minutes and then slice into strips.

Heat each side of the tortillas on the grill or in a hot pan. Fill each tortilla with chicken and veggies, top to taste, and enjoy.

Recommended toppings: fresh salsa, hot sauce, chopped cilantro, or guacamole (not store-bought!).


Fudgy Chocolate Brownies (Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

Holy fudgy, dense, chocolatey brownies! Make sure you have a huge glass of milk ready!

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
8oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter/pam an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang on two sides. Set aside.

Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature about 10-15 minutes.

Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2 inch squares. Brownies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Pulled Pork with Barbecue Sauce (Gourmet Slow Cooker Vol. 2)

2 pounds pork roast (any cut) We've been using pork butt 2->4lbs
2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced We use 1-2 cloves based on how big a roast we're making. 5 is overkill for us
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Place the pork in the slow cooker.

In a bowl, combine the ketchup, vinegar, water, onion, garlic, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Pour the sauce over the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours our cooker usually cooks it in about 6-7 hours on low, until the meat falls apart.

Remove the pork from the cooker and allow to cool slightly. Remove and discard any bones. Pull the meat into shreds using your fingers or two forks. Return the meat to the cooker and stir into the sauce. Serve warm.